About Critical Tide Exhibition

From critical design to critical practice
Critical Tide Floor Plan by MA student Chiao-wen Hsu
Critical Tide Floor Plan by MA student Chiao-wen Hsu

Time is running out. Design, the discipline that defines more than any other who we are and who we aspire to be, has led us to this unsustainable present. We have come to see ourselves increasingly as apart from, rather than part of the ecosphere—an ever more volatile ecosphere we depend on for our survival.

Whilst design should be critical of social and technological systems, critique alone is not enough: we need to create future scenarios that turn people into activists and create a pull towards transformation. Among the many social and environmental problems facing us today, those confronting our oceans may be the most urgent of all. While the seas are in peril, they also hold possibilities for positive change that we are only just starting to discover.

The exhibition is dedicated to design in and around the seas. It is a platform for engaged research in the form of a lab, exhibition and live events.

Critical Tide is curated by Prof. Julia Lohmann (Aalto University), Dr. Pirjo Haikola (RMIT, Melbourne),Dr. GillianRussell(EmilyCarrUniversity,Vancouver)andIllustratorGeroGrundmann.


This content belongs to Student Takeover on Unfolded. The Curating and Storytelling course have created visual and textual essays about the first academic year of the MA Contemporary Design.

More about Critical Tide

Critical Tide Seaweed Sculpture Oki naganode by Julia Lohmann photo: Noortje Knulst

Critical Tide exhibition at the Design Museum’s Gallery

At a time of deep ecological crises, Critical Tide will open our eyes to the urgent issues our oceans face and showcase creative ways of intervening.

Students' portraits with their adopted creatures in Kristineberg workshop in April, 2019

Empathy: Design in a Social Context

Reaching out to non-human stakeholders

Baltic Characters. Idea: Anni Avela, Illustration by Gero Grundmann

Baltic characters

In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught. –Baba Dioum, 1968.

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